Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jan 6, 2021

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A will prepared by an attorney is individually designed and professionally crafted for you in accordance with the laws of your state.

Why should you hire an attorney to prepare your will?

Having your will professionally prepared gives you peace of mind, since you know it has been done correctly and that, one day, your beneficiaries will enjoy the fruits of your labor. Be sure to hire an attorney who is experienced in estate law.

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What information do you need to have?

Your lawyer will ask many questions, or, perhaps, will have you fill out a questionnaire to provide detailed and descriptive information about:

  • Your property;
  • Your assets, including banks accounts, stocks, mutual funds, bonds, insurance policies, and any trusts you have set up;
  • Your debts;
  • Your family (including names and ages of minor children);
  • Your selection for executor of your will (this is the person who will be responsible for carrying out the terms of your Will, for collecting your assets, paying the debts, and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries); plus an alternate executor if your first choice cannot or chooses not to serve;
  • Your selection for your children’s guardian (the person who will care for your minor children should you die before they reach eighteen years of age), plus an alternate guardian if the first choice cannot or chooses not to serve;
  • Your beneficiaries, and alternate beneficiaries should your beneficiaries not survive you.

Once your attorney has gathered the information needed to prepare your will, he or she will have you review the document for accuracy, answer any questions you may have, and then arrange a meeting for the execution of the will before witnesses and possibly a Notary Public.